ERIC Number: EJ765712
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Jan
Reference Count: 5
Not Just for Computation: Basic Calculators Can Advance the Process Standards
Moss, Laura J.; Grover, Barbara W.
Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School, v12 n5 p266-271 Jan 2007
Simple nongraphing calculators can be powerful tools to enhance students' conceptual understanding of mathematics concepts. Students have opportunities to develop (1) a broad repertoire of problem-solving strategies by observing multiple solution strategies; (2) respect for other students' abilities and ways of thinking about mathematics; (3) the ability to critically analyze mathematical ideas, not people; (4) the ability to collaborate and cooperate with diverse personalities; (5) confidence and competence in doing mathematics; and (6) the ability to persevere even when a task is difficult. This article addresses ways in which to use nongraphing calculators to enhance multiple problem-solving strategies, encourage discourse, and facilitate high-level mathematics thinking. In addition, sample activities allow students to become familiar with multiple ways of using a calculator to obtain an answer, learn to interpret the calculator display, and identify the limitations of the calculator. The two examples described in detail (a percent problem and a basic word problem) are purposefully simple situations. Their simplicity fosters a positive "I-can-do-this" attitude, encouraging students to contribute to discussions. The focus is on developing student abilities to think and reason. The additional examples listed are more complicated at the outset. This instructional approach can be used at many grade levels.
Descriptors: Worksheets, Educational Strategies, Problem Solving, Calculators, Mathematical Concepts, Thinking Skills, Mathematics Activities, Technology Uses in Education, Word Problems (Mathematics), Critical Thinking
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. 1906 Association Drive, Reston, VA 20191-1502. Tel: 800-235-7566; Tel: 703-620-3702; Fax: 703-476-2970; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site: http://www.nctm.org/publications/
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Middle Schools
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (Reading)